Israeli Sources Deny Report on Opening of U.S. Consulate in East Yerushalayim

YERUSHALAYIM -
View of the U.S. Consulate General on Agron Street in Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli diplomatic sources have knocked back reports that the U.S. is preparing to reopen its consulate for Palestinians in Yerushalayim, Ma’ariv reported Wednesday.

Palestinian daily Al-Quds reported Tuesday that the United States plans to open an official diplomatic representation in east Yerushalayim, in addition to the embassy moved from Tel Aviv to the western side of the capital. The consulate, which was closed during the Trump administration, served as the de facto headquarters for the American mission to the PA.

For weeks the issue of a new consulate in east Yerushalayim serving Palestinians has been discussed.

According to an American source close to the Biden administration who spoke with Al-Quds, the consulate is expected to open in mid-November, shortly after the approval of the budget.

According to Al-Quds, the Biden administration is not satisfied with Israel’s policy in Yehudah and Shomron, such as the expansion of Jewish communities and claims of Jewish violence against Palestinians.

But sources close to Foreign Minister Yair Lapid denied the report in a conversation with Ma’ariv. They emphasized that there was no change in the issue and that there was no Israeli agreement to open the consulate, calling the report “fake news.”

The report drew strong criticism from the right. MK Nir Barkat (Likud) wrote: “It is unthinkable that a Palestinian consulate will be opened in Yerushalayim, dividing the united city, the eternal capital of the Jewish people.”